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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Holding onto the Shield of Faith

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In Ephesians 6 God tells us to put on the Full Armor of God. He has given us the tools to fight the enemy of God.  One of those tools is the Shield of Faith.

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” Eph. 6:16

The Lord, through His prophets, have been warning us that we are facing terrible times ahead. We shake our head in wonder now at the things that are taking place in our society and the world and wonder what is going to happen. Do we focus on the senseless slaughtering from ISIS, the attempt to destroy the sanctity of marriage through the homosexual agenda, the slaughtering of millions of unborn children, attacks against Israel, or Ebola? Although these are important do they strike a note of fear in us? Do they consume our thoughts?

Our focus is to be on God! He is calling us to repentance. He is wanting to hear our heartfelt prayers and our praise and worship. We are not to focus on the world or the events that are happening in the world. We are to look beyond and above the world to eternity. Our eyes are to be on Him not the events of the world that can leave us shaking in fear.

We are to cling to God through His Son Jesus Christ through our faith in Him. We pray without ceasing and in addition to the other pieces of armor we take hold of that piece, the shield of faith, and hold fast!

Gary D. Kinnaman, in his book, “Winning your Spiritual Battles” discusses the various pieces of God’s full armor and gives an account of what each Biblically means and how we can be protected. Mr. Kinnaman states that in the New Testament there are four different shades of meaning of faith.

1. Saving Faith – We trust that Christ saves us from sin and the consequences thereof. Ro. 10:9, Ro. 4:3

2. Faith to Receive – Faith in our daily trust in God for His provision and help.Heb. 11:6

3. Power faith, gift faith, miracle working faith. – Faith in a general sense – faith to be saved and faith to walk with God. 1Cor.12:9, Gal. 5:22-23, 1Cor. 12:7-11,  1Cor.12-14, Heb. 11:6

4. Enduring faith – Faith that does not quit. It is the persistent, resilient belief that God’s Word is true, over and against every problem, wrong thought, or demon. Endurance is active faith, deflecting persistently the fiery attacks of Satan.

So how do we endure? One day at a time! In 1Peter 1:3-9, “Through faith {you} are shielded by God’s power.” (verse 5) “The shield of faith is God’s power and presence protecting and energizing us in spiritual warfare.”

“Faith in the sense of perseverance shields all the other armor. Truth must persevere to prevail. Righteousness must persevere to prevail. We must persevere in peace-making in order to prevail.”

In these troubling times God is calling us to persevere. We must have enduring faith if we are going to “run the race” and receive the prize. Grab your shield of faith and hang on tight, it’s only going to get worse.

“Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Rev. 2:10

A prayer for Holding up the Shield of Faith:

“Heavenly Father and mighty God, shield me with Your power as I trust in You. The flaming arrows of the enemy have burned my soul. Heal the pain inside, and give me the strength to resist.

I am committed to enduring to the end of this trial, regardless of how long it lasts. I am not a victim. I am a victor, more than a conqueror through Christ.

My faith, Lord, is in You. I renounce my own abilities, and I confess that unless Jesus builds up my life, everything I do is in vain. Only when I trust You completely am I completely protected from the fiery darts of the wicked one. I hide myself in the fire of Your presence. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

41K3383MY0L._AA160_[1]Winning Your Spiritual Battles – How to put on the full armor of God. Gary D. Kinnaman

Available at http://www.amazon.com

http://www.elahministries.comhttp://www.cybersupportgroup.org

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries.comelah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

Are your hands full?

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“Therefore if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36

One of the first articles I wrote for the new Cyber Support Group blog (Rocks in my Garden) was with an assignment of placing rocks in a basket as each issue was healed. Survivors carry much guilt, shame, unforgiveness, low self-esteem, anger, etc. The healing of these many issues takes time and much work. They did not happen over night and will not be healed over night. As each issue is looked at we go through the pain of having to relive some of the events of the past but as we do so the Lord is with us and helping us to delve into the deep dark secrets and the effects it has in our present life.

Shame is something that is placed on us through acts that defy what we are created to be. God did not create us to walk with shame or guilt or rage because of what was done to us. He wishes each of us to be free to laugh, love, and rejoice in Him with the freedom much like a child happily playing.

If we have these issues bearing down on us we cannot be free to be as He created us to be. We must take each issue and deal with it. We cannot do it alone! We need Christ’s wisdom, guidance, and insight. We need the support of others and possibly a good counselor that is willing to walk with us through the pain.

Anger is a volatile emotion that can debilitate us and affects every relationship we have. It’s as though we have a volcano deep inside just waiting to erupt. Healing the issues we have to deal with helps in easing the effects of the volcano. It brings about forgiveness and as forgiveness is granted, for us and our abuser/s, we are set free from the devastating effects. I have seen survivors who felt as though a million pounds had been lifted from their shoulders by the act of forgiveness.

Forgiveness is difficult when we have been so violated by another human being that we trusted. Betrayal of the deepest level is difficult to forgive but it is absolutely necessary for us to be able to move forward and become free. It is the most important step in gaining freedom. It is the goal that we can set before us – to be able to forgive the one/ones that so harmed us. I’m not talking about lip service forgiveness but the kind of forgiveness that truly comes from the heart. We can start by telling the Lord that because He forgives us we choose to forgive (abuser name) and eventually we will be able to forgive from the heart.

Forgiveness is a choice! It does not mean what was done was right. It does not mean you have to have a relationship, or even contact, with this person. It does not mean that you will forget what was done. It means you release the consequences and judgment to God. Unforgiveness is wanting revenge. Forgiveness means that you have broken the ties that your abuser has you bound up with. It means you have taken a most important step in being able to move forward and live the life that God wants you to have. It means freedom.

Here are some scriptures to help you with various issues you may be facing:

Eph. 4:20

Eph. 4:31, 32

Phil. 4:6,

Gen 28:15

Mark 11:25

Is. 26:37

Ps. 91:4-7

 If you have confidential questions/comments feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

http://www.elahministriesinc.com   

http://www.suespen2paper.com

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries  

 Elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

Help from within

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I cannot say we ever met

My other self and me

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But when I can no longer cope

My Other can

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And we grope our way together

Alternately

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Though this life we did not choose

But now choose not to lose.

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She will stay I know

Until such time as I can handle

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All of me

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Then I will set her free.

Karen M. – Elah Publication – Aug. 2003

http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.suespen2paper.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries   elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

Setting Healthy Boundaries

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Every person has things that they will tolerate and those things that they will not tolerate. From ourselves and others. It’s called setting boundaries. But are the boundaries we set healthy boundaries?

Children that grow up in dysfunctional families are not given a choice, or not taught what healthy boundaries are. There are not usually boundaries set in dysfunctional homes. Sexual abuse is tolerated or hidden, beating Mom when the dinner isn’t ready on time, cussing and screaming, slapping, verbal attacks, degradation. There are all forms of abuse being tolerated. If there are any boundaries at all they are usually unhealthy.

What is a boundary? According to Webster’s dictionary it is “A limit. Anything marking a limit.” It’s as though we draw a line in the sand and say, “Don’t cross this line!” As Christians we can set healthy boundaries by refusing to listen to dirty jokes and  gossip for example.  Those are healthy boundaries. Once we have let others know that we will not tolerate filthy language, gossip, dirty jokes or whatever it is that offends us we must stick to those boundaries.

What are unhealthy boundaries? Allowing someone to verbally abuse us is one example of an unhealthy boundary. For example, I tell my husband that he can cuss all he wants but I just won’t tolerate the “F” word. Is that really a healthy boundary? No! Or for example, “Just don’t hit me in the face.”

There are many many examples of healthy and unhealthy boundaries but what it boils down to is what and how much I will tolerate, not just from others but from myself. Will I allow someone barging into the bathroom while I soak in the tub? Will I allow someone to continually verbally abuse me and say nothing? Will I continue to be degraded in front of my co-workers? Boundaries are set so that we may be treated with dignity and respect. If I allow others to belittle me or in some way show less than the respect that I deserve then I have not set boundaries. I am accepting that I am “less than.”

Children that have been abused have not been taught boundaries. As adults we tend to allow others to abuse us verbally, emotionally, or physically because we have not been taught that we are loved and respected as another human being. We expect less of people and of ourselves because that’s what our life experiences taught us. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In Gen. 1:28 God told Adam and Eve about ownership. We are not to only take control of the things of the earth but that we are to take control and responsibility for our physical, emotional, and spiritual lives. “We are made in the image of God, we were created to take responsibility for certain tasks. Taking responsibility, or ownership, is knowing what is our job, and what isn’t.”* In other words, are we going to allow certain unhealthy things to control us?  “It takes wisdom to know what we should be doing and what we shouldn’t.” *

In  Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend book, “Boundaries” he states, “Any confusion of responsibility and ownership in our lives is a problem of boundaries. Just as homeowners set physical property lines around their land, we need to set physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries for our lives to help us distinguish what is our responsibility and what isn’t.” *

They go on to discuss attitudes, feelings, behaviors, choices, values, limits, talents, thoughts, desires, and love. All have boundaries. “Boundaries are built and you can’t develop or set boundaries apart from supportive relationships with God and others.”

Many people feel they are being disobedient, will hurt others feelings, people may think I’m controlling, or angry if I set boundaries. But setting healthy boundaries are none of these. All children need healthy boundaries set in place not only for their safety but for learning they are loved and respected and we as adults also need to put in place healthy boundaries.

As a survivor of childhood physical, sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse I had to learn to create  healthy boundaries in order to live an emotionally healthy life. All of our relationships are affected by the boundaries we set or the lack of boundaries. What we tolerate is what will continue!

One of books that was of great help in my understanding and learning how to put in place healthy boundaries is:

*51AFJW77T0L._AA160_[1]Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend

I highly recommend it and the workbook. (available at http://www.amazon.com)

If you have confidential comments or questions feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

 

http://www.elahministriesinc.com

http://www.suespen2paper.com

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

Blessings to you.

Throw away that script!!

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All his life he was abused. His dad was a drunk and his mom was having an affair, an affair that led to divorce! His school life suffered greatly! Who cared about science or geography when life was falling apart! His world as he knew it had been destroyed and was still a living nightmare and yet he was still required to engage at school!!! His teachers called him stupid, his seniors ridiculed him daily. He had no where to run but in himself but even that was hopeless because the person inside would tear him to bits, the person in him would tell him how pathetic he was……no one understood him not even his family….
His script.
I am a nobody and no one loves me! I am better off dead…..I am of no use on this earth! If there is a God, He really really hates me!!!…

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I will lift you up within My hands

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I used to feel like no one cared

or even had a kind word to share.

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I couldn’t understand why I was here

Is it to be used by others who have no tears?

 

All the while floating numbly in this land

Wanting to feel like others, if only I can.

 

And then one day I prayed to God,

He’ll never answer or so I thought.

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What is my purpose? The plan for me?

Or is this the way it will always be!

 

And as I stood on my porch one day

I closed my eyes and gently heard Him say,

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“My child, My precious child, I am here

I have always been so very near.

 

I was waiting for you to call to Me

And ask Me what you are needing to see.

 

Yes, I was there so long ago

And I will be here, I’ll never go.

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It will be different, be patient and see

You’ll start to live and sow My seeds.

 

So reach out with all your heart

That’s always a great place to start.

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I will lift you up within My hands

And guide you through this painful land.”

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By only asking in my simple prayer

He has taught me how to care.

 

He’s shown me love, a true Father’s love

And given me flight on the wings of doves.

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And so in closing I just want you to know

I can feel His healing oil flowing

in my heart and soul.

By Robin – Angels by Grace March 1997

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http://www.elahministries.com

http://www.suespen2paper.com

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

Circle of One

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I’m living in the shadow of yesterday

With dreams I had for tomorrow

But the plans are shattered more each day

As I try to hide the sorrow.

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When life is so out of focus

And my feelings have all grown numb

I think there must be more to life than this…

I’ve become a circle of one.

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Decisions are hard to come by

There’s no trust even in myself.

Yet there’s a will to survive inside us all –

That may be all of “me” that’s left.

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But whatever there is within me

I must turn it into something more.

I can’t live my life for others now

And they can’t see the world from my shore.

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We all have our own life’s story to tell

And not one is worse than the other.

But there must be common ground somewhere

And a balm to ease the struggle.

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Take the good you see in me

And learn from it if you will.

But when you observe the wrong I do

I hope you can accept me still.

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I don’t anchor my soul on anyone else

I want no one’s weight on me.

So I leave my burdens at the foot of the Cross

And Jesus sets me free.

Written by Karen Austin – Elah Publication – June 2003

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http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.suespen2paper.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries   elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

Testimony – Its Still Happening Today!

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I am a thirty one year old in recovery from satanic ritual abuse as well as sexual abuse. I was born into an occult that involved my mother, father, and grandfather on my mother’s side. My grandfather was the head of the whole thing.

From the time I was born I was sexually abused and used as a “pure” sacrifice for all kinds of satanic rituals. You see in an occult world sex is praise and worship to Satan, much like our singing praise and worship to God. In the occult world when you have a child who has not been touched, much can be gained by those in charge who have the power to give “legal rights” over to the enemy, at the expense of the child of course. That’s what happened to me.

To my mother and father I was considered an experiment. My mother didn’t want to have children, but she had me for the purposes of the occult.  My grandfather died when I was four years old and that seemed to unleash all the resentment and bitterness within my mother and she turned those emotions on me, full force.

In my mothers mind she was going to put the experimental child, me, in its place. So she took me before the occult council and had them degrade me. She considered that putting me in my place on the spiritual level. “Spiritual” being of Satan.  After the meeting with the council she took me to a room and ….

…………………..I’m leaving blank due to being graphic…………………..

When I awoke and it was discovered that I was still breathing my mother assigned me a new role to take on in life. “You are not my daughter. You are my slave!” she told me firmly. “You are to do as you are told, you are not to speak, you have no opinion, and most of all you have no choices!” she continued to shout.

I have since looked up the definition of “Slave” and another word comes up, “Servitude.” Which means having no liberty to do as one pleases. It’s a lack of freedom to determine one’s course of action or way of life. To sum it up, that was me!

The funny thing is that I never took to her teachings. When my mother went from church to church, making trouble and causing chaos, I was hanging onto every word my Sunday School teacher was saying about Jesus. I accepted Jesus into my heart and He has been living there for a very long time.

I have now been in what I call hard core counseling. The Lord has been revealing to me the “legal rights” to my soul that was given to Satan by my grandfather and parents. What is awesome is that Christ has been taking back those rights from Satan. Satan no longer retains any rights over my life.

Christ has also taken me back to that room where……….(graphic)

You see, when I left that room as a slave child I left my true self behind. Christ has since placed me back in there, telling me I was to come out of that slave mentality. But in order to get out of that horrible room I had to get past the people that put me there.

I was scared to death to even face those people much less walk near them. But I decided to trust in the Lord and with His help I confronted and faced the evil. This time I put them in their place! And with that I walked out of that room holding Jesus hand.

Because of Jesus walking through those memories with me I received much release. Inner freedom just washed through me. I am no longer living with the slave mentality or playing that role. Best of all I no longer feel like a slave inside. I am so very free and I now have a sense of security within myself that no one else can give but God.

I have forgiven my mother and father but it is not necessary for me to have any kind of relationship with them. Why? Because they continue to practice devil worship to this day. I have wonderful friends, a church family, and besides, I have the most wonderful Father. My heavenly Father. And maybe some day He will even bless me with a family of my own.

It is a miracle to me that I have survived my upbringing and that I never took any interest in my parents activities or Satan worship. I worship God through His Son Jesus Christ.

Let me say that the road to recovery has been anything but smooth. With Jesus holding my hand, my willingness to face, head on, the bumps and obstacles of healing, has enabled me to overcome much. Jesus truly healed so many wounded emotions as well as my broken heart. If it weren’t for Him I would not be a survivor. It is because of His mercy, His grace, His strength, and most of all, His Name has protected me and He’s guided me through it all. God bless.

Debbie M. – Elah Publication -June 2003

Note: Debbie has since graduated college, has a Master’s degree in education and is married and has 2 children.

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http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.suespen2paper.com  http://www.facebook.com/elahministries   elah501c@bellsouth.n

Trust & Victory

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How do we learn to trust when we have been taught to distrust?

As babies we automatically trust. We reach out in absolute trust to our mother and care takers for our food, for a smile, for love and affection. But then something goes wrong and maybe a game is played where the toy we’re being handed is jerked away for example. If it is done enough times we will not trust the one playing the game. It can become cruel in the mind of the child and trust is lost.

That’s a very simple illustration of one way trust can be lost. What about when a child is sexually abused? The trust factor shoots off the scales. Distrust is learned. The one the child trusted has destroyed any possibility of trusting him/her again. The child is taught to distrust! It doesn’t matter how many times the abuser says, “You can trust me” it’s always a lie! Distrust becomes so deep seeded and so ingrained it’s a miracle if a child grows to trust anyone or anything, including their bodies in some cases.

If the abuser is a father figure, such as in incest, the emotional damage to the child is greater than any other kind of abuse. Why? Because it affects not only the body but the soul; mind, will, and emotions. It also deeply affects their spirit and can have devastating results.

Father figures, be it grandfathers, uncles, step-fathers, are to be a reflection of God.  God is Spirit yet we know Him as Father. For several years after becoming a follower of Jesus Christ I could not, would not, call Father God “Father.” Why? Because it was my earthly father who abused me. He was cruel, deceptive, manipulative, controlling, and a liar. If I didn’t do what he wanted it was hell to pay.

If my experience with earthly father is such, why on earth would I trust another Father I can’t even see!? Because of the incestuous relationship between a father figure and the child a relationship with our Heavenly Father is damaged from the get-go.

Father God knows that! In my case He worked very hard to gain my trust. “I’m nothing like your earthly father!” He would tell me over and over and over. “Trust Me” He’d say, and I would have to make a conscious choice  to do that.  I had to learn to trust my Real Father, my Father in heaven. It wasn’t easy! With each command or request I had to “take a chance” and either trust what He was telling me or try to figure it out on my own or do it on my own. Was I going to trust my past experiences or trust the One who says He can be trusted? Each time I trusted Him He showed me through whatever it was I was to do that I could trust Him.

But what about trusting people? We all have run across people who just plain are not trustworthy. They’ve proved it by not showing up when they say they will, by stealing something when our back is turned, by not doing their required jobs, by lying. There are many examples. As with God teaching us to trust Him we also learn to trust others. If the past says “trust no-one” that is coming from the flesh and a wounded heart. We have to make a conscious  choice to open our hearts to others and if our toes are stepped on a little we dust off our sandals and move on. It doesn’t prove that everyone is not trustworthy. Our world gets pretty dark and lonely without trust.

God proved to me over and over that I can trust Him and by Him doing that I have also learned there are people that I also can trust. True, we can’t blindly trust everyone we meet. It’s a process of getting acquainted. Just like my getting acquainted with the Lord. I had to step out in faith to learn those lessons and in doing so my world has certainly become a lot brighter.

It’s called VICTORY.

For my story of learning to trust and obey:

Published 2008 Available only through Elah Ministries, Inc. (Amazon is sold out and not available.) http://www.elahministries.com

 

Sing along with me………

Assignment:

List 10 victories you have had the past 6 months.

Look up:

Eph. 2: 13-14

Ro, 16:20

Ro. 5:1

Ps. 4:8

Ps. 29:11

 If you have confidential comments/questions feel free to e-mail me at: elah501c@bellsouth.net

http://www.elahministries.com

http://www.suespen2paper.com

http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

Blessings to you.

Scars in life

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Some years ago on a hot summer day in South Florida a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind the house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went.

He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore. His mother in the house, was looking out the window, saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, she ran toward the water, yelling to her son as loudly as she could.

Hearing her voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a u-turn to swim to his mother. It was too late. Just as he reached her, the alligator reached him. From the dock, the mother grabbed her little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began the incredible tug-of-war between the two.  The alligator was much stronger than the mother, but the mother was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard her screams, raced from the truck, took aim and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were the scratches where his mother’s fingernails dug into his flesh in her effort to hang on to the son she loved.

The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter, “But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because My Mom wouldn’t let go.”

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God refused to let go. In the midst of your struggles, He’s been there holding on to you.

The scriptures teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril – and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That’s when the tug-of-war begins – and if you have scars of His love on your arms be very, very grateful. He did not and will not ever let you go.

You just never know where a person is in his/her life and what they are going through. Never judge another persons scars, because you don’t know how they got them.

Ginger – Elah Publication – Aug. 2003

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http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.suespen2paper.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries   elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.